Let me begin by cutting straight to the point. If you’ve not had much experience in the wide world of bourbon whiskey, I have one singular piece of advice for you. Find your most reputable liquor proprietor, politely ask an employee,
“Excuse me, can you recommend a good bourbon for someone who is just starting to explore?
and prepare your mind for an educational conversation.
I stumbled across the core of this month’s article (the fine bottle of Single Barrel Vintage Evan Williams pictured below) when I did the above, and got a complimentary half-hour bourbon intensive for my trouble.
As a single barrel pull, each batch will have its own unique characteristics. So, unless you’re happening to pass through Eugene and ask me REAL nicely, you’ll be finding your own unique bourbon experience. As such, it is only fair that I pass on the advice I received. After all, forewarned is forearmed.
In no particular order:
- If you’re gonna go name brand, Jim Bean isn’t all that bad.
- Look for a bottle that’s got some age to it. 6 years at least, 12 is even better. Bourbon needs time to get its flavour.
- Corollary: Be leery of the current fad of “young” bourbons. These mixes have barely been aged, a year at most, and by and large haven’t had time to develop character.
- Always leave enough in your old bottles to taste compare against the new.
- To repeat, if you’re new in the game, ask the resident expert for an overview of the names you don’t recognize.
- The above goes double for names you do.
Now that your brain meat has been amply stuffed with knowledge, why not top off your warm summer evening with a bright little concoction. (Sorry Southern Hemisphere, I’ll send you some warm thoughts.)
Mango Apple Bourbon Delicious — Difficulty Rating:
Newb | Apprentice | Journeyman | Master
This recipe is dead simple. It involves pouring cool ingredients into a non-reactive container for immediate enjoyment. So whip out those completely valid state issued identification placards, acquire booze, and get to work!
- A suitable drinking vessel
- Paper Umbrellas (optional)
- Apple Cider
- Frozen Mango Chunks
Naturally, begin by throwing some appropriate mood music on your auditory projector of choice. My inspiration was Musho’s Swamps of Eden, a jazzy little compilation put out by the CheapBeats labels in the late February of this year. The amalgam of bright character and cheerful tone made for an appropriate blend with this mixed drink.
With the music properly guiding you, the instructions to assembling your liquid refreshment are quite straight forward.
- Appropriately place your suitable drinking vessel.
- Pour 4-8 ounces of apple cider into the vessel.
- Add bourbon to your satisfaction, do not overfill, as this would waste precious bourbon.
- Add the frozen cubed mango to your preference.
So with your drink in hand, crank that stereo, kick back and enjoy. I’m sure you’ve all earned the relaxation.
A toast to one and all of the ChipWINNation!